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Directories and Indexes


Denver City Directories from 1873 to 1986 can be searched by name to find addresses and occupations. The Denver Householder Directory started in 1924 and has been continued by other publishers right up to the present. These are arranged by address, allowing you to find out who was living in the house and/or the owner or the name of a business.

Denver Assessor Lot Indexes - 1860 to 1917

If you cannot locate an original building permit, these indexes will allow you to trace the chain of land ownership. These files are arranged by addition name, block and lot numbers and do not give information about structures. They will provide names to trace in directories, newspaper indexes, etc.

General Index

This card file in the Western History/Genealogy Department indexes the Rocky Mountain News from 1865 to 1995. Also indexed are other newspapers, journal and magazine articles, manuscript collections, and chapters from books in the collections of The Denver Public Library. Look for names of people or businesses you have found in your research or try searching under such topics as:

  • Denver - Residences
  • Denver - Streets
  • Denver - Neighborhoods
  • Denver - Additions
  • Denver - Buildings
  • Denver - Apartments
  • Denver - Churches
  • Denver - Hotels


The Building History Research area on the fifth level of the Denver Public Library brings essential materials together with expert staff, easing the way to learning about the past of your house, building or neighborhood.

Architectural Records

There is no complete repository for blueprints or plans for Denver buildings. While the Permit Office may have reviewed plans, they were not retained or passed on to the Library with the building permits. What plans the Library has are usually part of a collection of the papers of an architectural firm. In order to locate these, you must first determine the name of the building's architect. Most buildings in Denver were not designed by architects. The contractor may have had plans drawn up and modified these for various buildings that were built. Unless the owner of a building has obtained and retained these, they are very difficult to find.

If you do find an architect's name listed on the original building permit, check at the Western History and Genealogy Reference Desk to see if we have a collection of that architect's plans.

For further information be sure to check the Library's catalog for listings of the Western History/Genealogy Department's book, manuscript, map, and serials collections including items on Denver's history, neighborhoods and architecture, etc.

Next - Tips on Finding Photographs

Building Histories Table of Contents


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Exterior view of the John Zanett house, 529 Fourth Street, Ouray, Colorado

Denver City Directory [1910].


Denver Assessor Lot Indexes [1860 - 1717].

Denver Assessor Lot Indexes [1860 - 1717].


General Index Cards.

General Index Cards.

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Updated: June 25, 2013